For the month of July, why not create a mural to represent the vacation time children have spent, will spend, or dream of spending at the beach? Hang large pieces of white cardboard on the wall (or a white banner). Invite children to help you paint the bottom of your mural blue to represent lakes, rivers, etc. Next, paint the centre portion of your mural using beige paint to represent a sandy beach. Finally, paint a green section to represent the forest, nature, etc.
Encourage parents to share one or two pictures of their child taken during their summer vacation. The pictures will be used to personalize your décor.
In the water:
Provide several magazines (ask parents to help you collect them if necessary). Ask children to find pictures of activities that can be enjoyed in the water while on vacation. Let them glue their findings on the "water" portion of your mural.
On the beach:
Glue fine sand on your mural to create a special effect and to make your beach seem real. If you don't have a seashell collection you can share with your group, purchase tiny seashells (dollar store). Encourage children to decorate them before gluing them on the sandy section of your mural. They can simply paint the seashells, but using glitter glue produces an interesting result.
Go on a nature hike in a forest or park close to your daycare. Ask children to collect items found in nature such as pinecones, branches, leaves, etc. If this is not possible, purchase fabric leaves and flowers in a big box store. Let children glue the items on the "forest" section of your mural. If the items collected are too heavy to be glued on your mural, hang them in front of your mural using fishing wire.
Once all the elements mentioned above have been added to your mural, ask children to add their vacation pictures. If they went to the beach, have them glue their picture on the sand. If they went fishing, have them glue their picture on the water, and so on.
If a child does not have a vacation picture, let him/her look at magazines and choose a picture of a place he would like to visit or an activity he would enjoy trying during his/her next vacation.
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